"Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations & Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook," by Dana Velden

Current state: Published

Enter a short description of the image hereOrder from Amazon.com. In Finding Yourself in the Kitchen, Dana Velden asks you to seek deeper meaning in this space and explores what cooking can teach about intimacy, failure, curiosity, and beauty.

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen is a book of essays, each focused on a cooking theme that explores how to practice mindfulness in the kitchen—and beyond—to discover a more deeply experienced life. It also offers meditation techniques and practical kitchen tips, including 15 of Velden's own favorite recipes.

What happens when we find ourselves in the kitchen? What vitalizes, challenges, and delights us there? An extension of her popular "Weekend Meditation" column on TheKitchn.com, this book offers you the chance to step back and examine your life in a more inspired way. The result is a reading experience that satisfies, nourishes and inspires.

Many thanks to Lulu Featherlight who shared Kristina Sepetys review of Rodale Publishing Company's 2015 realease, featured in the Edible East Bay, September 16, 2015 "Bookshelf."

Enter a short description of the image hereI chose to feature this book in the "Heart of Practice" blog, rather than Book Bytes because I thought it deserves more space, and because the review struck a chord with me.

I often speak of three levels of practice:

     • Level 1:  Yang (Stillness in Action) movement
     • Level 2:  Yin (Action in Stillness) meditation
     • Level 3:  Bringing what we learn from Level 1 and 2 into our everyday lives

The practice of Dayan Qigong intensifies the amalgimation of who we are in body, mind, and spirit. This experience carries into all that we do, until the mind pulls us away from that sense of wholeness with momentary and multi-layered distractions. That amalgamated state of being is the fullness to which I am referring, when I use the word mindfulness.

Enter a short description of the image hereI am more likely to practice mindfulness while doing Dayan Qigong, meditating, walking, writing, gardening, teaching, or relating to nature, people, and animals. But it is interesting to note that, unless I am engaged in the enjoyment of preparing a meal for others (entertaining), when it comes to personal everyday cooking and eating, I am totallly geared toward efficiency and my mindfulness practice flies right out the window.

I suspect that the honesty and insights of a cook that loves being in the kitchen might be quite inspirational. What a lovely invitation this new book provides for exploring our third level of practice in a completely different context. To what extent are we making use of the kitchens in our lives? How comfortable are you in your kitchen? What is there for each of us to learn about ourselves as we inhabit our life styles and modern day kitchens?

Enter a short description of the image hereAbout the author:   Dana Velden is a Zen priest and former head cook (tenzo in Japanese) at the San Francisco Zen Center, where she lived and studied for 15 years. Now living in Oakland, she has been a blogger on mindful cooking for The Kitchn.com for several years, a beat that inspired her new book, “Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook” (Rodale 2015).

*          *          *          *          *          *